Basic Concepts: Part 3

A cheaper option

Some people may not want to buy a domain or pay for hosting because they only have a personal web site for fun or practice. You can still get your website live on the web by using a free hosting service that allows you to create what is called a ‘sub-domain’. A sub-domain is just a domain that is part of another domain. So if offered sub-domain hosting you could have an address like:

Or it could be like:

Whichever way the free hosting service decides to do it. The point is that your web site domain is really a part of the parent domain, in this case Doing it this way, you don’t need to buy a domain name, and you don’t need to pay for hosting.

This is fine for fun or project websites, but if you are serious about your web site (say it’s your business website) using sub-domains is like taking someone else’s business card and writing your name on it! You figure it out …

One last point, I’ve heard of free hosting services that will allow you to host proper domains with them for free and without annoying ads that other free hosts will insert into your pages. But I’ve never used them, and in my opinion you always get what you pay for. In the internet’s recent past there was once a crop of free service providers that would give away access to the web via dial-up, they were notorious for bad service and all have since gone bankrupt … I wonder why?

Moving your website files onto the server

After you have your domain name registered and your hosting service in place, the last step is to upload the website onto the server. You can transfer your web site to your host’s server using an FTP program.

An FTP program is a type of software that is used to move files from one computer to another over the Internet. FTP is the acronym for: File Transfer Protocol; this just means that this is a ‘way’ of moving files.

There are several free FTP programs you can use to move your files and many HTML editors and web design programs like Dreamweaver have FTP capabilities built in.

One option you probably have to ‘FTP’ your files to the server is Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 5 and up have an FTP program built right in. You can use it by typing in the FTP address of the server in the address bar preceded by the keyword: FTP. Here is an example: